How Does Elmer's Glue Work? 🍯

Henry Belcaster
Henry Belcaster
3 min read

Morning Elmer!

You ever eat glue as a kid?

No? Don’t want to admit it?

Well we all knew a kid that did.

And lucky for them the stuff isn’t toxic.

But, how does Elmer’s glue even work?



Why are you…


So Elmer’s Glue is a PVA glue.

Polyvinyl Acetate.

Basically you take this thing called vinyl acetate – a clear liquid – and you POLYmerize it.

Ya, you’re linking small molecules – monomers:

To form larger molecules – polymers:

Okay, Durd. Heat up our solution.

Now add some water.

Let it cool.

Bottle it up.

You’ve made Elmer’s glue!

Well, because you added water, the polyvinyl acetate stays liquid in the bottle.

But apply the white glue to a surface:

The water evaporates:

And the PVA glue molecules are left behind to form a strong bond – basically a plastic!

Stay Cute,
Henry & Dylan 🌈

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